Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' sets new milestone

The late King of Pop Michael Jackson made history as his album "Thriller" became the first album to sell 30 million copies in the United States alone, his estate said on Wednesday.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Estate of Michael Jackson, Epic Records and Legacy Recordings announced that "Thriller" is the first album in RIAA Gold & Platinum Program history to be certified as a 30x Multi-Platinum release in U.S. sales, continuing The King of Pop's reign as the best-selling artist of all time with worldwide sales of over 100 million for "Thriller" and 1 billion overall.

"RIAA has awarded Gold & Platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-Platinum plateau," Cary Sherman, RIAA Chairman & CEO, said in a statement. "We are honored to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in Gold & Platinum history. What an exceptional achievement and testament to Thriller's enduring spot in our hearts and musical history."

Michael Jackson's masterpiece “Thriller”, produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, won a record setting 8 Grammys, more than any album ever, and has been earning awards and setting new standards of success since its release on Nov. 30, 1982.

"Thriller" spent nearly two and half years on the Billboard album chart and holds a modern day record of 37 weeks at #1. It was the first album in history to spend each of its first 80 weeks in the album chart's Top 10. During its 112th week on Billboard's album chart, it became the first title ever to be certified as an RIAA 20x multi-Platinum record on Oct. 30, 1984. Worldwide, "Thriller" went to #1 in practically every country in the world, including the UK, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

Jackson's "Thriller" also launched the MTV era for the music industry, making music videos an art form. The title track's video remains the only music video to be inducted into the elite National Film Registry by the Library of Congress while "Billie Jean" broke the racial barrier to become the first black video to have a heavy rotation on then newly formed MTV network.

"It is crystal clear that Michael Jackson is simply the greatest, and biggest artist of all time," says LA Reid, Chairman and CEO of Epic Records. "Not only are his chart hits and sales stats staggering, but his pure musicality was other-worldly. Thriller was groundbreaking and electrifying...it was perfection. He will forever remain the one-and-only King of Pop."

During his extraordinary career, Michael Jackson sold more than a billion records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and "Thriller" as the World's Top-Selling Album of All Time.

"100 million albums and counting. There has never been a phenomenon like Thriller," said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson. "Michael opened the floodgates of his creativity, explored emotional depths and pushed the boundaries of sonic innovation. In the process, he breached destructive barriers in the music industry and literally united the world through his music: there isn't a place on this planet that hasn't been exhilarated by the music of Michael Jackson. 30 years after its release, Thriller continues to be a revelation."

Jackson's music surged again in huge popularity after his unexpected death in June 2009 at age 50. His estate has released new albums, the film "This is It" featuring footage of the pop star's final rehearsals for his comeback concerts and a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows, one of which, "Michael Jackson ONE" is still selling out tickets in Las Vegas.

Coming in at a close second in terms of record breaking sales is The Eagles' "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975," which has so far sold 29 million copies, according to the RIAA. While another compilation, Billy Joel's "Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II," is in third place with 23 million copies sold. Records that have also sold 23 million copies are: "Led Zeppelin IV" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall."

No comments:

Post a Comment